Toasts are not to be confused with Speeches. Toasts may be separate from the speeches, or may be the end part of the speech, but they are separate from the actual speech.
Anyone presenting a toast should be asked to prepare in advance. The Best man presents the first toast, which can be immediately after the cake cutting ceremony but this is not necessarily so. (Note; when you are the person being toasted, you do not drink out of your glass.) The wedding host (traditionally the father of the bride) toasts the couple. Other parental figures of the couple toast the couple.
Other good times for toasts are before or after the first course is served or after the main course has been eaten. If toasts are offered after the first course, then the cake cutting ceremony should be delayed until after the guests have completed their main course.
After the Best man has presented his toast, then the father of the bride may offer a toast to the bride and groom and to the groom's parents, welcoming the union of the two families. The Groom may then toast his new wife and both sets of parents.
These first three toasts may then be followed by toasts from other special guests.
Normally your best man is the ‘master of ceremonies’ at a wedding reception so the toasts start with the best man.
If your Best Man is not up to the task, then think who should be given this role.
Toasts should follow this order:
1. The best man toasts the bride.
2. The maid of honour toasts the groom.
3. The wedding host/ person paying most of the wedding (which is normally the father of the bride but regardless of who is paying what, it should be the father of the bride) toasts the couple.
4. Other parents toast the couple.
5. The couple toast their family and guests.
You do need to nominate whoever you’d like to do the toasts to actually do them, otherwise you may end up with no toasts!
Let your toasters know in advance and also let them know the toasting order so they follow naturally one after the other, rather than look all confused (or not even being in the room, ready) when it comes to their moment.
Toasts can be after all two or three courses of the meal, or after one of the courses.
Toasts can be before or after the cutting of the cake, depending when you cut the cake. At Craig y Nos Castle, toasts are normally done at some point during the Wedding Breakfast, not at the Evening Party. If however you were only having an evening wedding function, then Toasts would be done before the first dance.
A toast should be short – it is not a speech. A couple of sentences is enough. More than two to three minutes is incorrect and becomes a speech. Toasts are not speeches.
For suggested toasting sentences, a search on google will yield some ideas. No silly stories, no rough humour, no stories or tales about the couple, no excessive drinking before the toast or you won’t be able to make any sense to the assembled guests (this may not matter). And of course, actually raise your glass at the end as a sign to get everyone else to do the same.
Incidentally the wedding couple should not sip their drinks during the toasts as this will signal guests to do the same – the toast should be short enough that the drinking of the toasting champagne is done at the appropriate time at the end of the toast, not during the toast (otherwise the toast has become a speech and you may even run out of champagne).
At the end of the toasts, the Couple then do a toast. This is phrased as a thank you to your guests for coming and sharing the day with you (it is not you toasting each other)! You can also thank whoever was paying for the wedding (but not each other)! You may of course conclude with thanking your partner for marrying you and giving them a kiss.